Shirley, “Learn to trust them, hard to do sometimes. In later years they will tell you the things they did and you didn’t know about. You will find they knew right from wrong.” Tip #7
Shirley’s comment on trust, so true. Trust is hard! The teetering of holding on and letting go is a delicate dance in parenting. It was as though I was training myself from the time Michael was 5. I knew I would need to trust him in the world, yet I was terrified to release him in anyway.
I knew, if I could raise a trustworthy son, he could be trusted, and I could feel peace. My first step was to work diligently convincing him he was trustworthy. I started even before he knew what the word meant.
The early conversation went, “I’m so glad you’re trustworthy. Gee, if I couldn’t trust you I would be worried all the time and would be so sad. Because I know you make great decisions, our home can be a happier place.”
I would recite that often. It was exactly the truth. It was broken down into age (and concept) appropriate language. The root of the matter, if my son was not trustworthy, my life would be miserable! It’s ok for him to know that!
It does place responsibility on him, he should have responsibility. Michael was taught he had a responsibility to behave in a respectful way, and do his part in all situations. Being a member of a family, and upholding relationships requires expectations and responsibilities. The sooner he knew that, the better he could learn it.
Thanks Shirley for your best advice, and thanks for enlisting your girls (to follow). Also, special thanks to you and Andy for helping us to see, it is possible to have it all!